Elis James has a conversational approach to his humorous brand of comedy as he weaves one-liners with longer story telling routines. The title of his show does catch the eye and gives him the freedom to explore all kinds of ‘first times’. Much of his material is drawn from his early years. Thus his family and mates feature strongly from the time as a 2 year old when his father had to deal with a pee in the swimming pool problem to, as a 16 year old, his mates set up his first kiss. A particular highlight from this period was his recounting of a carol singing experience and I have to say the audience did well in providing some vocal background.
One curious feature in his set is his long term relationship with sports presenter Jim Rosenthal. This began as a seven year old as he encountered a celebrity for the first time when, along with his family, he saw him having breakfast in a hotel. This continued up to a more recent meeting with him several years ago.
An aspect which did impact on his performance was the hot-house atmosphere in a packed out Attic room. (My advice is to have liquid refreshment available.) About half way through he simply stopped his prepared routines and just engaged with members of the audience. Even a fluffed line didn’t faze him. He just got back in, and, to the appreciation of the audience, he nailed the story.
Reviewed by Ben
Pleasance Courtyard – Attic; 33
3 to 29 August 2011 (not 18)
20.15 – 21.15
Fringe Programme Page Number: 71